Miles and Miles (342.9 and counting)
This update comes from beautiful Erwin, TN. In the past week we have past a few AT milestones; completed the Smoky Mountain National Park, past the 300 mile marker, hiked through Hot Springs, NC, and set a new mileage record of 26.9 miles in one day!
After such a hearty pace for the last week myself and Stink Jacket are taking a zero day to get some much needed rest and breakfast buffet action!
As far as gear goes everything has held together for the most part. I started with two pairs of SmartWool lightweight hiking socks and within a few weeks completely destroyed them. I switched to Darn Tough socks which have a lifetime guarantee and already have holes in these as well over 140 miles. But as this is the only piece of gear I’ve replaced in 3 weeks I have no complaints!
One of the best experiences from the last week was the epic trail magic put on by Rat and Ox. These guys set up at the Brown Gap trail crossing for four days feeding hungry hikers. When we arrived around 11 am we were greated with omelet leftovers with pork chops. As we dug in on the smorgasbord of food, one of the gracious trail magic kings asked if we would like to stay for burgers… Obviously we had to extend our break for burgers and corn on the cob. When I said trail magic kings I wasn’t kidding! Rat keeps a blog of his adventures as well and should have photos of us hungry hikers up sometime soon at rattreks.com.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves” -Thoreau
From the last week-
Best meal so far on the trip! Energy to get through the Smokies.
Last shelter in the smokies, the front is fully enclosed by a chain link fence to create a hiker jail experience. Interesting way to keep bears away.
The trail crosses under a TN/NC interstate highway
From the appropriately named Standing Bear Farm hostel, great resupply spot!
The trail magic setup, burgers grilling in the background…
Hot Springs, NC the trail runs directly through town, great place!
My room in the Sunnybank Inn in Hot Springs, best hostel experience so far. The inn was built in 1875.
No sleep and hiking all day makes one go crazy!
Trail terrain getting rocky
Looking down at Erwin, TN
After 26.9 miles it’s lasagna time!
4-5 day food resupply
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